COUNTY is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Corey Mason. Mason is an emerging artist from Raleigh, North Carolina, whose expressive linework has been likened to that of Twombly, Matisse, and Picasso. His paintings have recently attracted the notice of important curators in New York, London, and Berlin, and in April of 2019 the artist will have a solo booth at Art Cologne, one of the oldest and most prestigious contemporary art fairs in the world.
Corey Mason’s most recent body of work, Delft Blue, which he created for his current solo exhibition at COUNTY Gallery, consists of freehand gestural paintings made with Prussian Blue pigment on reverse- primed canvases. Mason’s confident linework and his halo-like layers of intentional smudges and fingerprints present an insistent tactility and immediacy that recalls the Paleolithic cave paintings of France and Spain. Mason’s motifs, which include pottery, coins, flowers, fish, and fruit, are both local and global. They suggest the intimacy and comfort of domestic spaces while simultaneously pointing to larger histories of trans-Atlantic trade, migration, and cross-cultural influence. Mason, who grew up in Texas and conducted research in Northern Mexico, has an abiding interest in Mexican folk art, icons, and Spanish- influenced pottery. His own family, which has roots in Northern and Central Europe, used Delftware in their home, and the rich design vocabulary and subtle blue colors of those everyday household objects left an equally lasting impression on him. Mason’s deceptively simple, elemental visual language allows him to translate images of time-bound objects—whether European Delftware or Mesoamerican pottery— into jazzy, off-kilter improvisations that transcend the specificity of time and place. Old things become new again and known things become marvelous under the spell of Mason’s offhand elegance, which animates his playful yet expertly balanced compositions. Mason re-enchants the familiar with his freeform bending of line, shape, and form and with the felt presence of the artist’s inimitable hand. The works in Delft Blue are not illustrations but dances of sensation linking past and future, memory and fantasy, the personal and the universal.